New years Resolutions
January 10, 2024

Valentine's Day and Eating Disorders

Written by Katherine Kaczor, Recovered Living’s Nutritionist

Valentine's Day can be a challenging day for people with eating disorders. It is often a day fuelled by comparisons - it is so easy to get down on yourself when you see all the social media posts of couples having a romantic night out or gal pals celebrating together.

Eating disorders are an inherently isolating illness. The eating disorder convinces you that you aren't good enough for these relationships and that you would be doomed to fail if you tried. And if you were to be in a relationship - how would you handle the food? The eating disorder is likely to convince you that it would all be far too much or that you would lose control, so it is better to avoid the event altogether. 

Recovering from an eating disorder is a long and difficult process. And at the "heart" of this process is self-love. I know many of you probably cringed when reading that as self-love can feel like such a foreign concept. Again, it is a process, and it is not expected that you fully love yourself all at once (though you certainly deserve to!) 

This Valentine's Day we challenge you to take one step towards this self-love. 

Here are some of our favourite ways to show self-love. Let us know which ones work best for you!

- Take yourself on a date: This could mean buying yourself flowers, lighting some candles, and watching your favourite rom-com. Start to find out what brings you joy and what makes you laugh!

- Have a spa day: Get a massage, paint your nails, get the best-smelling bath bomb, and have some total relaxation time. Giving the body that needed rest and some extra pampering can help you feel more relaxed and comfortable in your skin.

- Spend time in nature: Sometimes seeing that we are part of something so much bigger than ourselves helps reduce some of that critical chatter that comes from the eating disorder. Drive to the mountains or splash in waves at the beach. Let yourself be fully present.

- Clean house: Allow yourself to get rid of some of those items that promote self-hatred - toss your scale, donate old clothes, dump out those diet drinks. These items are not insignificant. They are a daily reminder that you are not worthy of love, right here and now. Take a step towards freedom and ask a support person to help you make your home environment more nurturing of self-love.

Valentine’s Day can be a challenging day for people with eating disorders. It is often a day fuelled by comparisons – it is so easy to get down on yourself when you see all the social media posts of couples having a romantic night out or gal pals celebrating together. Eating disorders are an inherently isolating illness. The eating disorder convinces you that you aren’t good enough for these relationships and that you would be doomed to fail if you tried. And if you were to be in a relationship – how would you handle the food? The eating disorder is likely to convince you that it would all be far too much or that you would lose control, so it is better to avoid the event altogether.

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